On March 22, Dream Manor Inn owners Carl and Rebecca Williams (center) were honored by Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen; Arizona State Representative Chester Crandell; Steve Burke, Gila Community College SBDC Business Analyst; Ron Nielsen, Gila Community College SBDC Director; and Patricia Burke, Gila Community College Dean of Gila Pueblo and San Carlos Campuses for having a successful business in Gila County.
After receiving the Arizona Small Business Development Center success award, inn owners Carl and Rebecca Williams would love to take a few days off, but this would go against the couple’s own advice.
“Take a vacation before you get started, because you’re not going to get one for a long time,” Rebecca said. “Owning your own business is something that you live and breathe. You have to be 150 percent committed to your dream.”
This commitment is what helped grow the Williams’ business along with a little help from the Gila Community College Small Business Development Center.
The Dream Manor Inn was one of 15 recipients honored at the March 22 awards ceremony at the State Capitol.
The event was hosted by the Arizona Small Business Development Center Network (AZSBDC).
The Williamses didn’t know that they were on the road to small business ownership when they set off to visit a town Rebecca had once lived in.
It was 2004 and Carl and Rebecca had successful careers in Las Vegas. Carl worked as a realtor and Rebecca worked for a technology company.
Carl had previously worked in construction and Rebecca had once owned a small motel in Globe.
Little did they know how handy those experiences would come to be.
When a friend invited the couple to visit her home, which overlooked Globe and was for sale, the couple immediately decided to buy it as a retirement home.
“I told him that he was crazy, and to get back in the car,” Rebecca recalled. But Carl was persuasive, and in February of 2005, they purchased the home and began remodeling.
The Williamses’ retirement home evolved to become the Dream Manor Inn, a bed and breakfast inn with 16 units, 19 rooms and a banquet facility.
Since opening in 2006, the inn has become the place to go for a meal in town, a wedding (the inn has hosted more than 125 in the outdoor garden since opening) or to attend a Chamber of Commerce meeting.
The property has undergone several expansions that added an outdoor garden, long-term rental units with kitchens and a custom village with apartment-style housing that accommodates hunters, tourists and workers on temporary assignment at local companies.
Gila Community College Small Business Development Center Director Ron Nielsen worked with Carl and Rebecca during the later phase of their project.
“Ron has been integral to the success of our expansion,” Rebecca said. “He helped us fine tune our business plan to include more realistic goals, explained SBA lending guidelines and helped us connect with a bank that believed in our project.”
Dream Manor Inn has continued to grow, despite the economic downturn.
“We filled a niche in the area,” Rebecca said. “We’ve grown every year and we’ve tripled the size of our business since we started. We feel so blessed, because we don’t know a lot of businesses that can say that these last few years. We love what we do and the people we meet. It has been very rewarding.”
For more information about the Gila Community College Small Business Development Center, call Nielsen at (928) 468-8039 in Payson or Business Advisor Steve Burke at (928) 425-8481 in Globe.